A decade ago today I abandoned my career as a marketing executive and embarked on the trip of a lifetime. No one cared at that stage, and you can be sure as shit that no one cares now. Back in 2004, the daily grind was getting me down. I realised I needed a major sea change, so I set myself a crazy, unattainable goal that very few people would hear about and absolutely zero people would be interested in on any level. I wanted to do something inspiring, so I bought a bike and some camping gear and while my former coworkers continued with their lives barely noticing my absence let alone being at all emotionally affected by it, I set off around the globe.
I started by traversing Australia, the world’s smallest continent. This had been a goal of mine forever and I was overjoyed to finally get there. After myself, there was an enormous drop off in terms of people who gave two fucks about it, or me for that matter. The next stop was Asia, in my opinion the most fascinating and diverse part of the world. I was lucky enough to meet people belonging to so many different cultures. The one thing they all had in common was that none of them gave any indication that they were even the slightest bit curious about what I was doing. I then flew to the top of Europe and cycled all the way down through Africa, where I hoped to at least attract a glance or two but they all must have been busy because absolutely nobody paid me any attention. The final stretch was the Americas. I rode from Argentina in the South to the most Northern point of Canada. I finally met a woman who asked about my journey. “So what?” I remember her saying, rolling her eyes. It’s my most treasured memory. Another touching experience was returning home. “Who are you?” I remember my mother saying as she squinted through the screen door, “Get away! Get away!” Oh to hear her voice again after so long.
Ten years after my unthinkable feat of hardship and perseverance, I’m still trying to inspire just one person to pursue a more fulfilling life, or to throw caution to the wind for a moment, or to change their outlook in some small way, or to do anything really. Hello?